Arkansas Crime

Little Rock police have identified a man who died in police custody after officers said he resisted arrest as a Stuttgart man.

Police said Saturday that 22-year-old Marcus Sexton was pronounced dead at a hospital where he was taken when he became unresponsive after being arrested.

Police have said the officers were investigating reports of a suspicious person in a trailer park in southwest Little Rock Thursday night and found Sexton wearing only shorts and acting erratically.

The Arkansas Supreme Court is denying a request by eight death row inmates to appeal a decision that upheld the state’s execution secrecy law. But the court is also delaying its order as the inmates request a hearing from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Arkansas says it has a new supply of a drug used for lethal injections that had expired last month, potentially clearing the way for the state to resume executions after a decade-long hiatus.

The state Department of Correction on Tuesday said it had received a supply of vecuronium bromide with an expiration date of March 1, 2018. The state's previous supply of the paralytic expired on June 30.

The announcement comes less than a month after the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld a state law that keeps information about lethal injection drugs confidential.

Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Scores of young people made up the bulk of a diverse crowd about 200 on the state Capitol steps on Friday, calling for an end to police violence against African-Americans. The show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement came after the latest round of national incidents involving police officers killing seemingly cooperative young, black men. Organizers under the auspices of Hands Up, Guns Down also unequivocally condemned the killing of police officers in Dallas.

Governor asa hutchinson talk business & politics
Talk Business & Politics

In response to three nationally related episodes of gun violence and escalations between police officers and citizens, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said leaders must “calm the waters” in an effort to curtail overreactions to these violent and volatile situations.

“Most importantly, we need to make sure that we talk with reason and discipline as we discuss these matters. Leaders should not be encouraging and dramatizing the response beyond what it should be. The key thing here is our commitment to the rule of law,” he said.

A new Arkansas website will allow the public to search information on more than 500 missing person cases in the state.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas Crime Information Center Director Jay Winters and other officials on Wednesday unveiled the new site, . Winters said it cost ACIC about $28,000 to set up the site.

A former Arkansas women's prison chaplain accused of coercing inmates into sex acts has pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault.

Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce says 67-year-old Kenneth Dewitt pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court. Boyce says Dewitt agreed to three concurrent 10-year prison sentences with five years suspended on each count. Formal sentencing is set for Aug. 3.

McPherson Prison Unit in Newport.
Arkansas Department Of Correction

A preliminary trial date has been set for a former Arkansas women's prison chaplain charged with 50 counts of sexual assault after authorities say he coerced three inmates into engaging in sexual acts.

Kenneth Dewitt has pleaded not guilty to the charges. A Jackson County Circuit Court judge agreed Wednesday to combine the charges brought on behalf of the three women into one trial, preliminarily set for Aug. 11.

State Rep. Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville) speaking with Arkansas Department of Higher Education Dr. Brett Powell.
Jacob Kauffman/KUAR News

Arkansas lawmakers are trying to get a grasp on the incomplete picture of sexual assaults on college campuses. One legislative effort is in an early stage that will stretch until July of next year.

Hailing from the heart of the University of Arkansas system, Fayetteville, Democratic State Representative Greg Leding is leading the effort to analyze how Arkansas colleges deal with issues of sexual assault on campus.

“One of the reasons we launched this study was to drill down and find out what the students are seeing that maybe the rest of us aren’t,” said Leding.

Kenton Buckner LRPD Little Rock POlice CHief
Michael Hibblen

Little Rock's Police Chief is reaching his second anniversary on the job.

With crime rates at their lowest in decades and use of force incidents dropping in the city, Kenton Buckner explains his views on policing, race, use of force, and his goals for Little Rock.